The Diamond Geezer of Scotland: Stuart Hanley

Posted: 25/04/2017 10:18:33

Being made redundant from a good job eight years ago was just the push Stuart needed to find a way to work for himself. It was in speaking with his brother-in-law, already well-established with Mac Tools, Stuart began exploring the idea of owning a Mac Tools franchise, “My brother-in-law put me in touch with Mac Tools, and I thought it was a good opportunity to work for myself, with the support of a good brand like Mac Tools. They hadn’t been in Dumfries before, so I saw it as a good challenge, to put the brand on the map in my local area.”

Whilst Stuart is mainly based in Dumfries, the area he covers is between Carlisle and Stranraer, 110-miles. But there is no feeling of being disjointed from the Mac Tools network, “I’ve always had a great working relationship with my area manager, and normally touch base with him weekly. We also have a Facebook Group for Mac Tools Franchises in the area, to support one another. We meet up monthly to share ideas about how to build our customer base.”

Part of the $12 billion global organisation Stanley Black & Decker, Mac Tools has been supportive from start to finish. Stuart was one of the last British-based franchisees to receive training by Mac Tools in Ohio, USA. “It was ten days of intensive training – hard work! But at the end of it, I just wanted to get started. Since then, Mac Tools have been excellent at keeping me in the loop about new products, which is important for my customers. We have an excellent catalogue of products.”
Stuart believes a successful franchise comes through hard work, “You’ve got to be the kind of person who is determined. You need to be confident, and know your products inside-out, so you can really demonstrate them to your customers. At the end of the day, you’re representing Mac Tools and they give you the clout you need when selling quality products.  There are days when it’s quiet, but don’t be despondent, these are countered by the days when it can be incredibly busy.”

Being disciplined about how you structure your day is crucial, “It’s important to schedule the night before to know exactly where you’re going, what time you’re going to be there, and which customers you’re meeting. Then to make sure your professionally-equipped van, stocked with some of the Mac Tools 18,000+ strong product line, is clean and properly kitted out. The van makes a difference when it looks good! This is what draws people to check out what products I have on the van. When I’m out, as
well as myself, I’m representing world famous brands like Mac Tools, Facom, Britool Expert and DEWALT.”

Life on the road can be lonely, but it can also lead to a good customer base who love to have a good chat, “You’re one of them in a sense, because you’re seeing repeat customers a lot, showing them what new products you’ve got – and they want to handle them, as well as see them in action.” This interaction with customers makes-up for when life on the road can feel solitary, “It’s good to be able to pick up the phone and speak to others in the network. They’re my support, as well as having the area manager being on hand to help with sorting our questions and issues customers might have.”

Owning your own business can be time consuming, “but,” Stuart says, “if you don’t invest your time in it, you can fall behind. So, it’s important to keep on top of things. I believe having a good home-work-life balance is crucial. I tend to get everything done Monday through Friday, leaving most of my weekend free; but I know other guys who choose to leave their evenings free, and work over the weekend. This is the beauty of a Mac tools franchise, we do what we need to make it work for us.”

With UK-wide opportunities the potential to earn more than £50,000 a year, and no ongoing royalties to pay out, allowing franchisees keep 100% of their profits, is part of the appeal of owning a Mac Tools franchise, as another Mac Tools franchisee, Nigel Hammond from Southampton determined, “I quickly assessed that a Mac Tools franchise offered good value for money and great support. Other franchises didn’t offer the same levels of help and often had high monthly charges. Aside from the initial franchise fee, Mac Tools get their money from the tool sales a franchisee achieves, so it’s in their interest to ensure each franchisee is successful.”
This desire to keep their franchisees interested and successful includes the Mac Tools awards incentive. Last year, Stuart won the Mac Tools Diamond Award, an internal purchases award franchisees receive if they hit certain purchases targets, set by Stanley Black & Decker. This is a prestigious honour, and not unattainable, helping franchisees to see the value of what they’re doing.
Stuart is passionate about the Mac Tools he sells, his final word is, “My customers know they’re getting a quality product. I always tell them, sure my tools may be expensive, but if you buy poor quality, you buy it twice. My repeat customers have experienced that for themselves through the assurance they’ve seen first-hand with the Mac Tools purchases. This establishes the customers’ relationship with me, and ensures I am a first point of contact when they’re looking for something new.”

If you are ready to take the driver’s seat with Mac Tools and join this thriving network of franchisees, please click here for more information.

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